• Home
  • Roofing
  • The 5 R’s – Roofing Options for Your Grand Rapids Commercial Roof System

The 5 R’s – Roofing Options For Your Grand Rapids Commercial Roof System

What You Need to Know About Commercial Roofing Options In Grand Rapids MI

Versatile has been an elite commercial roofing contractor in the Greater Grand Rapids area for over 20 years. We have performed thousands of commercial roofing jobs in and around Grand Rapids and throughout the state of Michigan. When it boils down to it, their are 5 primary options you have to handle your existing commercial roofing system:

Replacement – Tear it Off and Replace It Entirely

In situations where the original roof has not been well maintained, is not compliant with code, or incurs significant damage, a roof replacement may be your only option.

Commercial roof replacement is one of the costliest and most important investments you can make to protect your business. A new roof can help you save money on energy bills, prevent water damage, and add value to your property.

While this may be the costliest option in 9/10 scenarios, often full replacements come with a warranty and workmanship guarantee that insure the roof for several years. This can be incredibly enticing in niche situations. For example, if you were trying to sell your building, having a warrantied roof can be an appealing selling point as the buyer will no they won’t need to outlay capital to maintain the roof, even in the worst case scenario.

The cost for commercial roof replacement varies depending on the type of material you choose, the size of your building.

Repair – Roof Repair Can Maintain A Healthy Roof System

The least costly option is almost always to repair and maintain your commercial roofing system. However, depending on the age, roofing system type, and level of neglect, continuing to repair your roof may not always be a viable or cost effective option.

The best way to avoid major costs later is to make repairs as quickly as possible. For example, water entering a roof will cause insulation and decking materials underneath it to incur permanent damage over time. These areas cannot be left alone or the roof can no longer be maintained, repaired, and may become ineligible for a replacement alternative like a roof re-cover, retrofit, or roof restoration In essence, Commercial roof leak repairs should never be left without repairing them, or high costs will incur in the future.

Consider signing up for a preventative maintenance plan to ensure your repairs and inspections are done routinely in order to minimize your roofing related expenses in the long run.


Re-Cover – Replacing or Covering the Membrane or Metal, Leaving the Substrate Intact

Together, the roofing substrate and labor costs make up a lions share of the cost of a roof replacement. If a roof is well maintained and the substrate remains intact, an incredibly affordable option is to remove the top membrane layer and lay an additional sheet of membrane (Like EPDM, PVC, or TPO) and reflash all corners, units and details. This will allow you to have what mirrors an all new roofing system for a fraction of the cost.

Retrofit – Install a Secondary Commercial Roofing System Over Top

In situations where the roof is well maintained, another alternative to a simple recover is a retrofit. This is similar to a recover in the sense of you are leaving the initial substrate in place and adding a new piece of surface membrane. However, retrofits can also include additional options like commercial metal systems and additional substrate between the previous roof systems.

Retrofits can be used to add additional slope to the roof to remedy ponding water and low areas and increase the longevity of a roof. Because there is no associated tear-off cost like with replacement, retrofits like recovers are often quoted at a fraction of the price of a replacement.

You can also add to the R Value of your building and increase energy efficiency or bring a building up to code using a retrofit. Conversely though, retrofits are sometimes unsuitable for roofs that have had past retrofits or recovers and can be against builders code in certain situations. The professionals at Versatile can help you decide if a retrofit makes sense for your roof.

Restoration – Use a LAM (Liquid Applied Membrane) or Roof Coating

Commercial Roof coatings and liquid applied membranes are also a viable and affordable option for many types of roofing systems. A liquid-applied membrane is made up of a single liquid polymer that cures to form an elastic rubber-like waterproof membrane. These types of membranes can be applied over many substrates and are often used for waterproofing or roofing applications. The application of these coatings is appropriate for flat, smooth, or semi-smooth surfaces that have no underlying water. If your roof substrates are less than 30-40% wet, wet, saturated areas can be remedied and the coating applied after for a fraction of the cost of a roof replacement.

The team at Versatile can make an evaluation and tell if your roof is a viable roof coating candidate.


Conclusion – Trust the Pros At Versatile Roofing Systems

It is important to consult with a commercial roofing professional to ensure you are selecting the right scope of work for your unique situation. If you have a property in the Greater Grand Rapids area on which you require a professional opinion, give the pros at Versatile Roofing Systems a call!